The most recent poll by Gallup matching Newt Gingrich against Obama has Obama up by a whopping two points: 48-50. This, after a week when Gingrich has had a concerted attack by ABC to take him out as a candidate after the Marianne Gingrich non-revelation that Newt cheated on her, as she had cheated with Newt while he was married to his first wife. Gingrich has gained 4 points in the trial heat.
Of course polls of the general election at this point in a presidential election year don’t mean spit, as President Carter could attest, as he led Ronald Reagan, often by vast margins, in the trial heat polls almost all of the year in 1980. I bring up this poll now to counter-act some of the “woe is us” commentary too often seen in GOP circles currently. Obama has presided over a disastrous first term, and will likely go down to defeat in the fall. All the signs are there. To listen to some of the Republican caterwauling at the present time, one would think that Obama was a shoo-in for a second term. He isn’t and I am getting tired of the doom and pessimism brought on by a perfectly normal contested presidential nomination race. This reminds me of an event in the Battle of the Wilderness in May of 1864:
An almost hysterical aide came up to Grant. “General Grant, this is a crisis that cannot be looked upon too seriously,” he yelled. “I know Lee’s methods well by past experience; he will throw his own army between us and the Rapidan, and cut us off completely from our communications.” Grant looked at him in disgust. “Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do,” he roared back. “Some of you seem to think he is suddenly going to turn a double somersault, and land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. Go back to your command, and try to think what we are going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do.” Sound advice in war and in politics.